AI already started to replace middle management?


Different studies predict that AI will replace a certain kind and number of jobs. This not only limited to blue-collar, but also white. Even middle management-positions are not safe. We already have the robot poss in some positions?

Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning
Patrick Henz
10 months ago

14 answers


It is true that AI could displace middle management but to certain extend. For example, AI can't completely replace certain white collar profession that need major decision making where EQ comes to play like making deals and persuasion for sales. For example in the health industry, AI might alleviate the burden of the primary care physician but does one prepared to fully trust on AI in an emergency setting? In the security enforcement industry, The precision of AI in weaponry science is impeccable but it real life operation we preferred human decision to AI decision in execution of the machine as it is a matter of life and death. What do you think?

Lawrence Loy
9 months ago
Lawrence Loy , thanks a lot for the comment! I guess that AI will not directly replace middle management, but instead the middle manager will work with his/her personal logarithm, which supports the decision making. Such a software can work autonomously inside a defined space. This may include the daily management of employees. In fact, such is no new concept. - Patrick 9 months ago
Already in the 90s there had been Football Manager programs available for home and personal computers. Here the computer (AI) manages the different players. For example, a player with forward skills get used for the attack, and a player, who is strong in defense, will be used in the back. - Patrick 9 months ago
Patrick Henz. Great example of how AI could replace the middle management (foot ball manager program). Another example would be uber using AI as virtual management. - Chun 9 months ago
Football manager is one of the best examples, someone has built a career starting from that game - Paolo 9 months ago

Yes this could happen in the future, now it is too early to me. Workplace increased automation and routine job can be performed by machines. Cognitive and non-routine is still challenging for machines. Here it is with an interesting article about this topic,

Paolo Beffagnotti
10 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti thanks for the answer! This is also my idea, for this I am curious if there would be out there already practical examples for this. - Patrick 10 months ago
here it is with an interesting list of jobs that AI could overtake, - Paolo 10 months ago
Paolo Beffagnotti , thanks!! - Patrick 10 months ago
Great Sharing Paolo! It is tru that congnitive and non routine execution decision responsibility is still challenging for machine compared to human. - Lawrence 9 months ago
This will be the future in our mind - Paolo 9 months ago

I do not think that AI will take over managerial roles. People are not machines. People need relationships. Do you think that a robot will create orders or tasks to employees based on the real data with logic and intuition?.... I see something opposite symptoms in some groups - slow living, eco-living, eco-villages, etc. On the other hand I watched a documentary about a Japanese man who married a robot. It is really pity. It looks the humanity stops to be human or people start to have psychic health issues because of that. In businesses 60-70% processes can be automated but not all of them. More over our world is changing, new products, new services and companies have to be flexible. I remember my projects in AI/analytics/reports 8 years ago. We created many dashboards, triggers, analytical rules but after a half a year they were obsolete. You have to update and control what AI presents, how collects data from what sources, etc. I read about the lawyers and their analysts roles will disappear because of AI boosted search engines. I hope that we do not see the "Minority report" world on our eyes. I also noticed that HR adapts AI to their role. My personal experience is horrible - no answers, a network of black wholes, no real job offers. I do not like it at all.

Urszula Urban
10 months ago
Urszula Urban , thanks a lot for your detailed insights! I agree that automation does not automatically lead to humanize the working environment. It might, if demanded by government and society, but if not, it may lead to a dystopian future. AI is only a tool, programmed and managed by humans. On the other hand, even without AI we already have today non-human environments, - Patrick 10 months ago
True indeed no matter how advance the AI would be, i don't think that i could completely replace human especially on the EQ side. - Chun 9 months ago
Agree - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Chun Wei , David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® agree, I thinkg the word "completly" is important. Some job functions have a higher potential to get automated, some less. For all cases, we cannot let AI alone to decide completly independent. Responsibillity and accountability cannot be delegated to machines. The same as a CEO cannot delegate this away from him or her to a lower level human employee. - Patrick 8 months ago
Agreed - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

AI could replace the middle management level but it will not replace human work force completely . For example even though AI could make good decision base on data, memory and statistical analysis but its EQ is incomparable to a human. We could replace middle managements and skill workers with AI but human is still needed to over see their job, to confirm the decision whether to execute or not when it is related to a serious issue with numerous repercussion if complication arise. Hence there might be a replacement of middle management but other job opportunity might be created at the same time. The status of the company management level is merely a title but different job title and responsibility could always be created in a new and creative way. I hope that i could transmit my idea across even though it sound a little complex. Let me know if you need any clarification as i am wiling to discuss more to clarify my stand point.

Chun Wei
9 months ago
It is true. Just as what Paolo Beffagnotti mention in his comment above. "Cognitive and non-routine is still challenging for machines". there are 2 interesting articles attached to his comment regaing AI and middle management. - Lawrence 9 months ago
Mid management is always squeezed; not new - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
MM lies between grunts and leaders- - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Agreed, cognitive and non-routine is challenging for machines. Important, this is also challenging for humans, Tim Cook stated that he is not afraid of machines acting like humans, but humans acting like machines, - Patrick 8 months ago
Socrates and the philosophers pretty much said same; several thousand years ago. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
YAWN? - Dr. David E. 8 months ago


The top 14 sources of secondary income for doctors, according to the Medical Economics magazine’s annual survey, are:

  • consulting (23% of respondents),
  • other medical work (19%),
  • clinical work (13%),
  • expert witness (12%),
  • teaching (11%),
  • nursing home (9%),
  • speaking (9%),
  • hospice (7%),
  • urgent care (5%),
  • locum tenens (4%),
  • preceptor (4%),
  • clinical trials (3%),
  • military (2%), and
  • telemedicine (1%).

Any thoughts?

Dr. David E. M
9 months ago
I agree with the results of the survey, plus I add retail clinics and clinical trial could be more relevant than just 3% - Paolo 9 months ago
Good points! - Dr. David E. 9 months ago
Insurance companies in the US want to drive patients first to online portals, where they get first information related to symptoms. Only if this does not helps, individuals go to see a doctor. AI will support this, First level support the AI chatbot, L2 support: the human doctor. Of course, this also depends on the patient's budget. - Patrick 9 months ago
NOT the patient’s budget - as much as the insurance company. Patient’s don't pay in a third party system. The payer does. So, you have a point if the medical marketplace is free. But, the market place is not free. The internet is free-er. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
So, we have been able to get info from the internet since about 1995. But, when was the last time the internet treated, comforted or assured you. And, who do you sue if wrong? - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

It is not just AI that is reducing the need for management. “Six particular forces are alive today that are challenging both the legitimacy of managerial power and the wisdom of managerial elites” Jules Goddard

Dr Neil Williams
10 months ago
Dr Neil Williams , thanks for your answer! Correct, we are living in a connected world, so that an interaction of different factor work together. - Patrick 10 months ago
• Customer-centricity • Information technology • Shareholder pressures • Global competition • Economies of simplicity Faith in Leaders - Dr Neil 10 months ago
Does "connection" enhance relationships? - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® , not automatically, as 100s of contacts on social media does not mean an enhancement to relationships. - Patrick 8 months ago

This fact may not be all that true. AI is still maturing and the way how it will replace the jobs is still not known completely.

Anand V
10 months ago
Anand V , thanks for your answer. AI already started to take a certain kind of jobs. I agree that we still not know how the will be the total effect, as AI also created new jobs. For this it is important that human lean human skills, where they can work together with algorithms and not compete against them. - Patrick 10 months ago
I cannot envision in the next twenty years that management will be dominated by robomanagers. Even in my wildest sci-fi dreams. It is far more likely that managers will be needed to manage hoards of roboworkers, and displaced workers likely to be advanced in their skills due to increased access to AI l;earning systems to enhance their skills, even if programming or data management. - Sandy 10 months ago
Sandy Waters , Today, we have AI already in boards as director. But, due to my point of view, so far this is more a marketing stunt. I not saw it yet, but I could imagine that an AI could replace a supervisor as it may efficiently manage workers in workshop or belt. - Patrick 10 months ago
AI may replace managers and grunts; not leaders - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Correct, leaders have, for example. to motivate. Difficult to imagine machines motivating humans. - Patrick 8 months ago

For many years, decision support systems and later AI tools have been used for medical diagnosis. AI can be extended to any decision-making environment. Normally, this aims to increase the accuracy and consistency of such decisions. Really, it's just a further step in office automation and frees up the need to make simple decisions and helps us to focus on the more complex decisions.

Ian Gibson
10 months ago
Ian Gibson , thanks for the answer! I agree that AI (or Industry 4.0 in general) is less a revolution but more the next step of an evolution. - Patrick 10 months ago
OF course. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Except if you are Rip Van Winkle - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

The practical application of Artificial Intelligence is still in its formative stages, and there have been some successes, but widespread acceptance and use in broad cross cuts of vertical industries is still way off in the future. It is in some ways similar to the advance and progression of the desktop computer as hardware got faster, more powerful, and cheaper, and there was a point that software needed to catch up with its sophistication and harness the power of the CPUs, while Operating Systems got smarter and handled more functions automatically. It took years for computers to become ubiquitous, and there is still an unmeet need that will be fueled by newer faster, more powerful, and economical systems. The software, specifically the AI systems and component applications, need to catch up to the point where everyone will be able to harness the AI for their own purposes, using the cloud or the desktop, the future holds much promise for AI, but no single application or company has emerged to bring it to the masses, not even Microsoft, or Apple, or open source unix.

Sandy Waters
10 months ago
Sandy Waters Thanks for your feedback!! I agree that we are still on way to reach that goal. (At least if we plan this as a goal) - Patrick 10 months ago
Thanks, - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

AI is in its infancy; we may see this happen in the future, but AI has not started to replace middle management yet. AI as of right now can only perform basic tasks or make decisions with clear, simple criteria/decision rules and outcomes.

Instead, middle management will become more important given the proliferation of AI. The quality of work performed by and decisions made by AI will require review by humans. Who or what middle managers manage will change, but as a result of AI middle managers will become more important.

Amanda Joseph-Little
10 months ago
Amanda Joseph-Little , thanks for the detailed answer! I agree to your point, as for all change-management, midde-management is imperative to trigger the change. - Patrick 10 months ago
MIddle management is always attacked - becasue it is middle. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

On the topic of whether AI will displace middle management, I believe that if you accept that management control is currently structured to manage collections of people and functions, that with the introduction of AI to specific functions performing the workload of one or more employees it might depend upon how many AI uses were managed by a middle manager.

One middle manager will likely manage a small team consisting of subject matter expertise, programmer/system administrator, and possibly multiple SMEs as an effective and productive unit. I think it doubtful that the middle manager fuction of the group which is directed by upper management will be displaced by AI for a long time. Pressed into service to augment decision making used as amiddle manager tool more likely.

Sandy Waters
10 months ago
Sandy Waters , thanks for the feedback! As commented before, I assume human managers will not completely replaced by algorithms, also as software cannot take on accountability. But managers will work together with AI, also to relief them from various tasks. - Patrick 9 months ago
OK - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

I think we should look at AI as component of the workforce that still needs to be managed. As long as the organization's management is hierarchical, there will be place for middle management to oversee AI and human co-workers.. Just that, in the short term, AI will reduce the team size in certain aspects, but in turn increase team size in certain other aspects such as cyber security, energy management and compliance. However, I bet teams would just reorganize around more avenues of activities that AI will make practical to explore than overall quantum of activity reducing.

Thushar Kumar
9 months ago
It is true that AI would reshuffle the company organization/post and responsibility! - Chun 9 months ago
Maybe not - how so - just another tool - Dr. David E. 8 months ago


You can take away the middleman - but not what he/she does!

Dr. David E. M
8 months ago
David E. Marcinko MBBS-MD DPM MBA MEd CMP® , good point! We can automate work of the middleman, what is still left, has to be taken-over by someone else directly. - Patrick 8 months ago
YEP - A concept of Mike Porter thirity years ago. Nothing new. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Right, Industry 4.0 (including AI) is more an evolution than a revolution. - Patrick 8 months ago
Well said. - Dr. David E. 8 months ago
Thanks! Today's technology makes it possible to bring existing theories and concepts to the next level. For example, W. Edwards Deming's System of Profound Knowledge. - Patrick 8 months ago
Maybe - Dr. David E. 8 months ago


Maybe, but some of Demming's ideas on quality control have become antiquated  because of technology. 

Dr. David E. M
8 months ago
Yes, or it is up to use to re-interpret him. - Patrick 8 months ago
Maybe - Dr. David E. 8 months ago

Have some input?